You’ve been warned, King Foot Subs — there’s a new king in town. His name is Dirk, and he is the King of Currywurst!
Yes, Dirk Adolphs, along with friend and co-worker Alex Blum, have brought international street food to 425 Divisadero, where they’re serving up popular dishes from their native homelands. For Blum, that means Chilean hot dogs, topped with guacamole, diced tomatoes, and garlic aioli, served on a toasted bun. For Adolphs, it’s currywurst.
What’s currywurst, you ask? It’s a popular German dish consisting of sliced sausage smothered in a tangy sauce — almost like barbecue, but spicier and with a mild curry flavor. It’s traditionally served with a roll on the side for soaking up that saucy goodness.
According to Adolphs:
“The legendary currywurst got its curious beginning in Berlin when Herta Heuwer accidently mixed ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce and curry powder that she had rationed from British soldiers. The dish soon became the icon of German culture, with over 800 million servings sold a year and a museum (Currywurst Museum Berlin) erected in its honor.”
Could currywurst really be this popular? Recently, we traveled all the way to Germany to find out. Well not exactly — but we did have a recent layover at a Berlin airport, where we spotted this very active currywurst kiosk:
So, we declare this dish legit!
There’s one important difference between Adolphs’s version and the traditional German ‘wurst, though — his sausage is vegetarian.
Adolphs tells horror stories of the low-quality currywurst found in German fast-food restaurants, made with mysterious ingredients and slathered in ketchup. He knew such a dish wouldn’t fly in San Francisco. Instead, he opted to use a healthier, meat-free sausage, which he claims provides “even more protein than a pork or beef sausage for a fraction of the fat and cholesterol.”
We sampled the King’s currywurst pictured above, and although we are unabashed carnivores, we thoroughly enjoyed the dish. In fact, we almost couldn’t tell it wasn’t “real” sausage, whatever that is.
Adolphs’s currywurst sells for $5.25, and Blum’s Chilean hot dog for $6.25. (The non-Chilean version costs $1 less). There’s also a combo on the menu, as well as chips and sodas for sale on the side. Their shiny cart boasts a My First Sony boombox, and they invite you to bring your own music to enjoy while they toast your buns or lather your sausage. (Sorry — unlike another hot dog-related post we did once, we’re really trying to avoid juvenile puns with this one.)
Though they’ve only been working the location for a few weeks, Adolphs and Blum have been amazed by how many regular customers they’ve already garnered. They say the most gratifying aspect of the job is getting to meet folks in the neighborhood and introduce them to a cuisine they might not otherwise get a chance to experience.
King of Currywurst will have its official grand opening this Friday, July 22nd, during which all food will be half price. Otherwise, swing by any day Monday through Saturday from 11am to 7pm, and try the best ‘wurst around!